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Come a Little Closer: Think critically about the deep meaning of complex texts through close reading

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Lori Horn

on 8 July 2014

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Transcript of Come a Little Closer: Think critically about the deep meaning of complex texts through close reading

Come a Little Closer:
Common Core
What is Close Reading?
Defining Close Reading
"Complex text is typified by a combination of longer sentences, a higher proportion of less-frequent words, and a greater number and variety of words with multiple meanings."
Reader and Task Considerations
Close Reading Sort
On pages 8–10 of the Participant Workbook, read the examples that describe instruction with close reading. Then, work with your small group to sort the examples from most rigorous and complex to least rigorous and complex. To ground your analysis, use Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to determine what each task requires of students.
Close reading is defined as careful and purposeful reading of a
complex text
used to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension. This requires thoughtful, critical analysis of a text that focuses on key details in order to develop an understanding of the text's structure, craft, meanings, etc.
Close Reading Components:
Using short, complex texts

Limiting pre-reading activities

Focusing on the text

Rereading multiple times (one/multiple settings)

Reading with a pencil (annotating the text)
Paraphrasing/summarizing of main ideas
Coding the text

Discussing the text with others
Think-Pair Share or Turn and Talk frequently
Small groups and whole class

Answering text-dependent questions
What is Complex Text?
PARCC Model Content Frameworks
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers
Think critically about the deep meaning of complex texts through close reading.
Ways to Measure
Text Complexity
Levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands
Word length or frequency, sentence length, and text cohesion
Reader and Task Considerations:
Motivation, knowledge, and experiences
Qualitative Elements
Levels of Meaning or Purpose
Is it specifically stated/clear? Or are there inferences that need to be made by the reader?
Structure of Text
Linear/nonlinear, one/multiple points of view, deviations from standard conventions of genre, number of plots
Language Conventionality and Clarity
Literal, clear, or contemporary language vs. figurative, ambiguous, or unfamiliar language
Knowledge Demands
Is understanding dependent on prior knowledge or open to any level?
Quantitative Measure
Quantitative dimensions and factors are those aspects that are not easily measurable by a human and are typically measured by programs such as Lexile.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test
Uses word length and sentence length

Dale-Chall Readability Formula and
Lexile Framework for Reading
Substitutes word frequency instead of word length


ATOS formula (Accelerated Reader)
Uses length of words, sentences,
and text
Factors such as motivation, knowledge, and experiences are important to consider when selecting a text.

The purpose of the reading also needs to be considered.
All students should have access to complex texts
Students who are not reading at grade level should have access to complex texts with appropriate scaffolding and support.

Even many students who are reading at grade level may need scaffolding as they master higher levels within the text complexity band.
Reading Standards:
1 - 3 (What the text says)
4 - 6 (How the text works)
7 - 9 (How the text measures up and compares to others)
Know your students....Know your students.
Challenge them with difficult text.
Give them experience with grade-level material frequently.
Scaffold their learning.
How Do I Scaffold?
Teacher does one shared reading of text
(1st or 2nd read).
Students read and annotate text.
Depending on the text, students may be asked to reread the text multiple times.
Students work on tasks TOGETHER. (Working with the reading standards)
Using Reading Standards in Close Reading
1st read: Key ideas and details
- What is the text about?

2nd read: Craft and structure
- Figure out how the text works.

3rd read: Integration of knowledge and details
- Analyze and compare text.
Student Example
Make connections
Make meaning
Ask questions
Let's Try It!
Now it's your turn....

Read the story and
make at least 5 annotations. Refer to your bookmarks.
In your groups, share at least one of your annotations.
Now I'll share my annotations and show you how to write "Why" questions.
In your groups, write two "Why" questions and highlight the answers in the text.
In your group, answer questions 1 -3 by highlighting evidence within the text and indicating the question number.
In your reading journal, complete the following RAFT assignment:
Role - Friend of narrator

Audience - Narrator

Format - Letter

Topic - Offer condolences with reference to at least two details from the text.
"Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark".
Follow along as I read aloud the story,
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